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Parents' and teachers' perceptions of hearing impaired children in primary schools

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  • Design
  • Education
  • Philosophy


The aim of this study was to consider the perceptions of parents and teachers of hearing impaired children who were integrated into ordinary primary schools. These perceptions, and the responses made to the children, were considered to have significant influence on their ability to function effectively, since the social climate in which a child finds himself affects the development of a positive self-concept and consequent attainment and adjustment. In the research design, quantitative methods were seen as inappropriate, and interview techniques and classroom observations were used to gather illustrative material from a small opportunity sample. The investigation indicates that most of the children were viewed very favourably by their parents and teachers. Parents were very supportive of their child's placement and were aware generally of the implications of hearing impairment. They expressed concern over inadequate technical support, the heavy case-load of the peripatetic service and the lack of awareness of the implications of hearing loss on the part of the general public. Despite the fact that the teachers had neither previous experience nor any training, some were able to respond most appropriately, and this appeared to be due largely to their general philosophy and to the unique value they placed on the social, emotional and educational development of the individual child.

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